Plant Industry - Forest Pest Outreach

North Carolina ranks fourth in the United States in total forested acres with approximately 18.3 million acres, or 57% of the total land area, covered by forests. Our state's forest land provides economic value and adds immensely to the quality of life for its residents. Our forests provide enjoyment to hikers, birders, campers, anglers and many other recreational users.

Invasive pests present a very serious threat to forest ecosystems. It is crucial to monitor forest health to detect pests early and take preventive measures to reduce the harmful effects of invasive insects, pathogens, and plants.

The NCDA&CS Forest Pest Outreach Program promotes public awareness and provides the most current, accurate information on these threats to our forests. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, the emerald ash borer, walnut twig beetle/thousand cankers disease of black walnut, spotted lanternfly, Asian longhorned beetle, and spongy (gypsy) moth.

Illustration of Emerald Ash Borer, Gypsy Moth, Longhorned Beetle, and Walnut twig beetle

We can be found at events such as BugFest and the North Carolina State Fair.  We also deliver presentations and workshops to interested groups, such as Master Gardeners, Boy/Girl Scouts, community college classes and instructors, middle and high school classes and instructors, environmental educators, park rangers and more.

We produce informative posters for display at Farmer's Markets across the state, distribute educational brochures and materials to state parks and secondary schools, and have trained Boy Scouts to recognize invasive pests and the damage they cause.

To schedule a presentation on invasive forest pests for your group, contact Sara Lalk at (919) 707-3743 or

Forest Pests Outreach Logo

To report potential new occurrences of invasive pests, call NCDA&CS at 1-800-206-9333 or email